Skip to content Skip to navigation

Educator Professional Learning Specialist

List Date: 
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Close Date: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Title: Educator Professional Learning Specialist
Supervisor: Chief Education Officer


The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) pioneers solutions to global ocean challenges. GMRI is widely respected as one of the top marine research institutions in the Northeast. Our fusion of science, education, and community gives us range to effect change from multiple directions. Our objectivity and commitment to collaboration make us the go-to organization for communities grappling with contentious political issues and new business systems. We are making a long-term investment in science literacy as the cornerstone of a 21st century economy by providing programs to ignite the curiosity, ambition, innovation, and problem-solving potential of Maine’s next generation.

GMRI’s flagship education program is LabVenture! which takes place in our Cohen Center for Interactive Learning. Launched in 2005, the LabVenture! program has engaged nearly 120,000 Maine 5th/6th graders and their teachers in hands-on, technology-enabled explorations of science. Students are guided by passionate science professionals through a 2.5-hour experience, working in small groups to conduct research at a series of multimedia-enabled lab stations. They use tools of scientific inquiry – digital microscopes, measuring boards, video cameras, computer models, and live specimens and habitats – as they make hypotheses, collect evidence, draw conclusions, and present their research to peers.

Thanks to funding from NASA, GMRI is reimagining and recreating the Cohen Center technology and the LabVenture! program. NASA funding is also supporting development of a variety of related classroom curriculum resources and educator professional development experiences to serve the next decade of Maine citizens and classrooms as well as small science and technology centers across the region. This project is a collaboration between content, creative, and technology teams at GMRI, Stanford University, Education Development Center (in Waltham, MA), a network of small science and technology centers across New England, and several substantial contractors.

We seek a passionate expert to lead strategy, development, testing, and execution for the educator professional learning element of this effort, leveraging the expertise of other team members and GMRI Advisors.

Position Description

This half-time, salaried position will report to the Chief Education Officer and will function as a key member of the leadership team for this five-year project working alongside the Project Manager, GMRI’s Chief Scientific Officer, Ocean Data Products Manager, and the co-investigators from our partner organizations. The Educator Professional Learning Specialist will lead a visioning process to design sustainable professional learning resources and experiences that bolster educator content knowledge and help them maximize their students’ LabVenture! experience as well as teachers’ use of the associated curriculum resources.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Lead execution of the educator professional learning segment of GMRI’s NASA-funded Real World, Real Science (RWRS) project. This includes
    • Determine educator learning outcomes that support and maximize student learning outcomes
    • Design, solicit feedback on, and revise a vision for delivering target educator learning outcomes
    • Collaborate with technology developers and other team members to determine the role and nature of online learning for delivery of RWRS professional development
    • Write, solicit feedback on, and revise all professional learning resources
    • Conduct pilot tests of prototype experiences and resources to inform development
    • Collaborate with other team members to assure maximum dissemination of all RWRS final products
  • Participate in key RWRS project meetings to assure alignment of efforts and products
  • Survey relevant literature and bring forward key findings to build the team’s knowledge base regarding blended professional learning
  • Participate in select conferences and other networking events to connect GMRI’s efforts with the broader field and to identify potential like-minded collaborators; contribute to building GMRI’s leadership regarding development of data literacy and climate literacy in both youth and adults
  • Cultivate and maintain a select group of advisors who are experts in educator professional development
  • With colleagues, pursue additional funding to expand GMRI’s impact on educator professional learning


GMRI depends on the talent and dedication of the people who work here. Our staff members come from around the world and a wide variety of backgrounds and have chosen to be at GMRI in part because of an enduring passion for Maine and for GMRI’s commitment to being a catalyst for solutions for Maine’s marine economy and next generation of citizens. GMRI hires capable individuals and then allows them the independence to innovate in order to achieve the organization’s mission.

For this position we seek a bright, highly motivated individual who thrives in a collaborative, multi-faceted environment. The ideal candidate will have exceptionally strong communication skills and an orientation to roll-up their sleeves and work across the range of levels of tasks, from strategy and vision to daily management and execution. The successful candidate should be accessible to, but need not be based in, GMRI’s Portland office.

The following mix of skills and experiences are required: 

  • Masters in Education or equivalent professional experience, emphasis in STEM education a plus
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience designing and delivering professional learning experiences for K-12 educators; strong preference for demonstrated experience with blended approaches to delivering professional learning
  • Excellent and dynamic communicator in both spoken and written mediums
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills and strong record of follow-through on assigned tasks to ensure successful outcomes
    • Demonstrated ability to understand and synthesize complex scientific or technical information and explain to a broad audience
    • Ability to manage priorities and accomplish multiple tasks in a demanding environment with limited resources and staff support.
    • Team player with a sense of humor and ability to function in a fast-paced, energetic and rapidly evolving organization.


Please submit a cover letter and resume by August 31, 2017, using the link below. Resumes reviewed upon receipt. Open until filled.

Please CLICK HERE to apply for this position. You will be navigating away from the GMRI website. All complete applications will be reviewed after the closing date. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Questions should be emailed to Please note we will not accept resumes sent to this email address.

We are proud to confirm our long-standing policy and commitment to providing equal access and equal employment opportunities in all terms, conditions, processes and benefits of employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. Our employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. Applicants and employees are encouraged to voluntarily self-identify their race/ethnicity, gender, disability status and veteran status to assist us in fulfilling various data reporting requirements of the federal government. This self-identification is completely voluntary, will be kept strictly confidential and separate from your application data, and used only to meet federal reporting requirements. Providing or declining to provide this information will not result in adverse action of any kind.